Monteverde Vecchio – Exploring True Rome

This article is for those who want to feel like a local in the Eternal City, get to know non-touristic Rome and all my friends and followers on Instagram. You should follow this guide if:

  1. You have already been to Rome at least 2 times and lived at least a week in the Eternal City.
  2. We saw the Colosseum, the Vatican, the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, and the Roman Forum, and visiting the main sights is no longer a priority for you.
  3. There is a desire to feel the Eternal City on a new level, to see non-tourist places and how the locals live.
  4. You don’t drink cappuccino after dinner, and you promise not to order americano in Italy;
  5. Want to practice your Italian.
  6. You are an open, positive, and polite person.
  7. You are not ready to stick to a strict diet, you are not fond of proper nutrition, and you are not a vegetarian.
Attention! This article should not guide you if at least one of the above points does not suit you or you do not drink coffee at all.

Why do I Live in Monteverde?

In this guide, I will share with you the details of the non-touristic area of Monteverde. I lived here for six years and changed five apartments. Therefore, I know the area quite well. I choose Monteverde because:

  1. The city center is 20 to 30 minutes away. A direct tram line N8 runs more or less regularly. For me, as a guide, it is simply necessary to be able to quickly and reliably get to the starting points of my tours.
  2. There is a huge park, Villa Pamphili, and I love jogging and nature. Often with friends, we just walk around Villa Pamphili and have picnics. For inspiration, see on Instagram a selection of photos by the hashtag #villaPamphilj_Artur.
  3. There are many coffee shops and restaurants for locals.
  4. The area is very green. The name Monteverde is translated as “Green Mountain,” which is very close to the truth. Besides, there is no subway here, and 4-5 story buildings prevail.

Monteverde Vecchio - Exploring True Rome

How to Get to Monteverde Vecchio

Monteverde is strategically well located. And although there is no metro station, the city center can quickly be reached by tram or bus.

From Fiumicino airport

There are two ways to get from Fiumicino Airport to Monteverde:

By regional train for 8 EUR

Take the regional train for 8 euros to the Roma Trastevere railway station, and from there, walk or take the 8 tram to your accommodation.

Near the railway station is my favourite Bar Baffo, which will also be discussed later in the article. Opposite the bar, there is a kiosk where you can buy tickets for transport (buses, trams, metro) and a return ticket to the airport.

Transfer on Mercedes

Order a transfer for 70 EUR from Sergio at his website Sergio will meet you at the airport and in about 25 minutes if there are no traffic jams you will be at you will at the address you specified with comfort and WiFi.

From Ciampino

From Ciampino Airport, you first need to get to Termini Station (Roma Termini), and from there, take the “H” bus for about 30 minutes.

However, you can also order a transfer from the airport to save time.

To the city center

It is convenient to get to the city center by tram 8, which runs to Trastevere (Belli stop) or to Piazza Venezia (terminal). Trams in Rome run more or less regularly, unlike buses. Bus H can be considered as a fallback option to get to the center, but it is often overcrowded and runs according to a driver’s mood. Routes N44 (to Marcellus theatre) and N75 (it passes by the Colosseum).


  • How not to gain weight for a vacation in Italy: eat often, and walk a lot.

Italians do not eat cereals, eggs, and other high-calorie foods in the morning, and you can get something substantial like pasta not earlier than 12:30 p.m. when restaurants open for lunch. Therefore, until lunch in Rome, you can only count on pastries and sandwiches (tramezzini) – that’s perfect!

By the way, the habit of not eating much in the morning is an aristocratic one and originates hundreds of years ago – this is how the rich ate, who did not need to work physically. The peasants, who got up at 4 am at sunrise and spent the whole day in the field, needed hearty meals in the morning. Most modern people don’t need to stand at a machine tool in a factory for 10 hours a day or spend 14 hours in the field. There are almost no real aristocrats now either, but the Italians honor the habit of eating little before dinner without exception.

Yes, if you want to be like a local, you will have to change your habits: for breakfast – coffee + pastries; for lunch – pasta; for dinner – antipasto, first, second courses; and before bedtime – gelato.

Also, no one forbids snacking in bars during the day with delicious sandwiches called tramezzini: they come with tuna (con tonno), ham (prosciutto cotto), and a dozen other toppings. The cost of a tramedzino is 2.5 – 3 EUR.


If you eat 5-7 times a day, like locals, your metabolism will speed up, and you definitely won’t gain extra pounds – ask any fitness trainer. Italians eat twice as much as us, but they certainly don’t look fatter.

My Favorite Cafes (Bars) in Monteverde Vecchio

Coffee in Italy is more than just coffee. Going for coffee is a tradition, a way of life; drinking morning coffee while chatting with friends, a barista, a cashier, and whoever enters the bar. These smiles and wishes for a good day! You can go for coffee 1 – 5 times a day. Is it harmful to your health? Well, let’s just accept the fact that the average life expectancy in Italy is almost 83 years. For inspiration, see a special selection of stories on my Instagram @joldersman.

Bar Baffo Caffè Vergnano

Bar Baffo Caffè Vergnano is conveniently located right on the square next to Roma Trastevere train station. This is a good venue for breakfast in Rome. Great selection of fresh pastries and desserts. Coffee and drinks are the DNA of the Caffè Vergnano 1882 brand. The photo below shows my breakfast – cornetto con pistacchio e cafe normale (croissant with pistachio paste and espresso) – for 2.5 EUR.

cornetto con pistacchio e cafe normale

By the way, you don’t have to go to the listed bars. There are hundreds in Rome, and dozens of such bars in Monteverde! Explore the city, and find your favorite one.


In many bars and restaurants located opposite the famous attractions of Rome, there are two prices – for example, coffee, when ordered and consumed at the bar, as all locals do, costs 1 – 1.5 EUR. However, at a table, 3-5 times more expensive – because only tourists do this. Also, when using a table, each tourist will be charged an additional service fee (servizio or coperto) of 2 – 8 EUR per person.

In Monteverde, I have not seen such tricks with a double menu. You can order coffee at the bar and bring a cup to the table yourself, but do not forget to clean it up afterward – you are well-mannered.

Etiquette Inside Italian Coffee Bars

Remember that abroad you are the face of your country! By how you behave, Italians will form an opinion about all your compatriots. So let’s agree to be polite and follow the rules of etiquette:

  1. Entering the establishment, say hello to the cashier, say “Buongiorno!” – Good afternoon! – before 3:00 p.m. and “Buona sera!” – Good evening! – after 3:00 pm. Tell the cashier what you will drink and eat. For example, “Two cappuccinos and two cornettos.” – Due cappuccini e due cornetti. You pay, and the cashier will give you back a check. The cost of cornetto (pastry) is mostly the same, about 1 EUR, so you do not need to specify which taste you prefer to the cashier.
  2. Head to the bar, greet the barista, say buongiorno or buona sera. Show him your check and repeat your order aloud, be sure to smile. Show which cornetto you want – with cream (cornetto con crema), pistachios (cornetto con pistacchio), chocolate (cornetto con cioccolato), without filling (cornetto semplice). You can just point and say “QESTO (THIS) per favore (please)”. Water is served free of charge, just say “Un bicchiere d’acqua, per favore” (one glass of water, please).
  3. Drink coffee at the bar with the locals, watch how they behave, what they order, and how they communicate with the barista. Literally, after the second or third-time visit, the barista will remember you and will perceive you as a good old friend. I do not advise you to sit at a table on the first visit, even if there is an option. Otherwise, you will not feel the atmosphere. You want to be like a local, don’t you?
  4. Please note that there is always a glass for tips for the barista – it can be any amount, at your discretion, from 10 cents to 1 EUR is ok. They will definitely tell you, “Grazie!” – Thanks!
  5. When you leave the bar, smile, say “Grazie!” and wish a good day – “Buona Giornata!” – they will wish you back. And that’s the perfect start of the day!

What Kind of Coffee to Order and When?

If you are a tourist, you can even order an Americano. They will understand you, forgive you and do whatever you want. But better take a look at my guide to Italian coffee. General rules are as follows:

  1. All milk-based drinks – cappuccino, cafe latte – are ordered by locals only before lunchtime (12:00 p.m.), as they believe that milk is poorly absorbed in an adult body.
  2. After 12:00 p.m., we order an espresso, which is also called “cafe normale” (normal coffee). You can feel the taste of coffee when it is not diluted. Pay attention to the coffee brands – Lavazza, Illy, Caffe Vergnano, Kimbo – that’s how you can understand the difference (La Differenza). In extreme cases, you can order a cafe macchiato after lunch – a little bit of milk will be added to the espresso.

Also, in almost every bar in Italy, you can order freshly squeezed orange juice – “spremuta d’arancia,” which costs about 3 EUR.

What’s Wrong with the Americano?

The Americano was invented in Italy during the Second World War for Americans as an analog of the famous American filter drink “regular” or “dropper” – a large portion of coffee from a drip coffee maker. So what do these two drinks have in common? – Just a large volume and a not very full-bodied taste. In Italy, up to 470 ml of hot water is added to a shot of espresso. It turns out a tasteless liquid with a hint of coffee.

The Italians still associate Americano with poverty and war. No single Italian would dilute the divine taste of espresso with water. This is unpatriotic and illegal.

When you order an Americano in Italy, you immediately lose respect in the eyes of the barista and neighbors at the bar because you show that you don’t even want to try to touch the culture of Italian coffee. So you definitely shouldn’t settle in Monteverde. Drink an Americano opposite the Colosseum for 5 EUR.

Where and How to Find the Best Accommodation in Monteverde Vecchio

If you need advice and my expert opinion, then in the comments below, you can send links from Booking and Airbnb to the accommodation options you like. I try to reply to everyone at least once a day.

Below, I mapped the hotels and apartments that I personally would consider living. The average rating should be greater than 8, also, note that all accommodations are along Circonvallazione Gianicolense Street, as there is a direct tram No.8 to Piazza Venezia and bus “H.”

Also, if you like to walk or jog, you can consider the neighborhoods near the stops Bonnet / Carini, buses No.44 and 75. Bus No.75 goes through the Colosseum to Termini station, and bus No. 44 goes to Piazza Venezia, the final stop is Teatro di Marcello.

Buses are not as reliable as trams, and it is more difficult to follow their timetables and routes. From the Bonnet/Carini stop, it is literally a hundred meters to the very beautiful parks of Villa Sciarra and Villa Pamphili or a 10-minute walk to the Acqua Paola. In 20-minutes down the hill, you will appear in Trastevere, or a 30-minute walk along the Gianicolo hill admiring the panoramas of Rome, and you’ll find yourself in the Vatican.

I personally was constantly looking for an apartment in these quarters, but, unfortunately, it didn’t work out.

Villa for a company of up to 12 people

Suppose you are traveling with a large company or several friendly families. Then, I advise you to take a closer look at Villa Michelangelo – this is a luxurious villa with an area of 300 meters with a private garden, which can comfortably accommodate a group of 8 to 12 people. Rent per day from 300 to 360 EUR.

Villa Michelangelo Monteverde Vecchio Rome Accommodation

Such villas used to belong to the local aristocracy. Buying a villa of this level in Rome starts from several million euros.

Reviews are excellent!

Chateau al Gianicolo apartments for 2 or 3 people

Chateau al Gianicolo is ideally located on Via Giacinto Carini 25. The rental price, including city tourist tax, is 90 EUR for two and 115 EUR for three guests per night.

Chateau al Gianicolo Monteverde Vecchio Rome Accommodation

The Bonnet/Carini stop is a quiet place at the very top of Gianicolo Hill. It’s within walking distance of bars and local shops. The historic center can be reached on foot in 30 minutes if necessary. To get to know the area, I advise you to take a walk down Via Giacinto Carini. Then walk to Via Anton Giulio Barrili or Via Guido Guinizelli. Here you will find the houses and lives of the locals, listen to the conversations, and daily routine.

If you’re staying along tram line 8, you can get to the Gianicolense/Ponte Bianco stop and take the same walk in the opposite direction.

B&B Carini 58

Like the previous accommodation, B&B Carini 58 bed and breakfast has many positive reviews.

B&B Carini 58 Monteverde Vecchio Rome Accommodation

The price is 120 EUR for two people per night. Clean rooms, pleasant and courteous hosts, and excellent location are essential for a perfect holiday.

Local places to eat nearby:

Villa Pamphili

Villa Pamphili is one of the reasons why I live in Monteverde. See a selection of photos for inspiration:

Villa Pamphilj Instagram

The villa is open to visitors free of charge from dawn to dusk. On the map above in the article, I have marked 4 entrances to the villa. Check which one is closer to your residence address.

a picnic at Villa Pamphili in Rome

Here you can meet me for a morning jog, and in the evenings, my friends and I sometimes buy prosciutto, tomatoes, olives, wine, or beer in the nearest supermarket and go on a picnic to eat under the pine trees at sunset.

Remember that this guide is a source of inspiration. So, do not be afraid to go to bars and restaurants not mentioned in the article. Discover your Rome and share your experience, feedback, or questions in the comments.
Guide, traveler, marathon runner, journalist, creator of the site ITALY FOR ME. I live in Rome and am in love with Rome. On the subject of the article, please ask questions in the comments. I try to answer everyone at least once a day.

Your feedback, questions and comments on the topic

Your opinion is important. Please rate the article by clicking on the rating stars.